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Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

Neun deutsche Arien - Nine German Arias

Lyrics from: Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747)

Lyrics in German and English: see pdf at pp 16-17 or via links given in the song index at the  bottom.


Handel's "nine German arias" (he wrote other arias in German, but this is a discrete group) were written in the mid-1720s, long after the composer left his native Germany for Italy and then booming Great Britain. It is not known why he should have written music in German at that late date, and the pieces have a quietly contented tone that sets them somewhat apart from almost everything else in Handel's oeuvre. The texts are by Hamburg poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes, whose so-called Brockes-Passion had already been set by Handel a decade earlier. They are religious but not exactly sacred -- spiritual in a personal way, perhaps, with a good deal of nature imagery that is only lightly reflected in the music. Instead Handel sticks to the da capo aria pattern, forging a gentle language for the soprano soloist that evokes the outlines of the Italian operatic aria but tones the whole thing down to chamber dimensions.


cited from

*Neun deutsche Arien (Nine German arias)

St. Cecilia's Day - 22nd of November
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Wikipedia

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